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Even if some writers avoid reading when they’re writing a book because they’re afraid of being influenced by other people’s work, finding your unique voice is most times the result of borrowing ingredients from other people and coming up with your recipes.
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"When the internal critic puts you down using comparisons, here’s how it operates: First, it selects a single, arbitrary domain of comparison. Then it acts as if that domain is the only one relevant. Then it contrasts you unfavorably with someone truly stellar, within that domain. It can take that final step even further, using the unbridgeable gap between you and its target of comparison as evidence for the fundamental injustice of life. That way your motivation to do anything at all can be most effectively undermined."
"The first step, perhaps, is to take stock. Who are you? When you buy a house and prepare to live in it, you hire an inspector to list all its faults–as it is, in reality, now, not as you wish it could be. You’ll even pay him for the bad news. You need to know. You need to discover the home’s hidden flaws. You need to know whether they are cosmetic imperfections or structural inadequacies. You need to know because you can’t fix something if you don’t know it’s broken–and you’re broken. You need an inspector. The internal critic–it could play that role, if you could get it on track; if you and it could cooperate."
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